Though its menu offers plenty of sushi, sashimi and specialty rolls, Andrea’s is known more for an ultra-cool atmosphere and shareable, craving-worthy pan-Asian dishes like chicken pot stickers, five spice garlic lobster, and Chinese sausage and pineapple fried rice. After just six months, it’s known as a fun and delicious place to eat, not necessarily as a sushi stronghold.
But that stuff is pretty great, too. And it’s no surprise—executive chef Joseph Elevado was mentored by Nobu Matsuhisa in New York before coming to Las Vegas, and he helped set a Strip sushi standard at the original Social House restaurant at Treasure Island. When you get an invitation to experience a special omakase dinner from this guy—on International Sushi Day, no less—you don’t think, you just say yes.
This odd, specific food holiday was celebrated on June 18, but don’t wait until next year to sample this food. Several of the dishes served among the evening’s seven courses are standards at Andrea’s, including: hamachi with a crispy garlic chip, cilantro and pickled cherry pepper; sashimi of scallop with a parsley “salsa verde,” crispy beet and lemon; and soy-marinated bigeye tuna on crispy rice with pickled jalapeño and spicy mayo.
As is often the case with multi-course sushi meals, the most simple and elegant presentations were the most memorable mouthfuls. The “amuse bouche,” a Kumamoto oyster shooter with a generous pearl of sriracha riding shotgun, was bright and briny with ample heat and left us wanting at least a couple more. The garlic chip on the yellowtail dish was a unique, flavorful addition, and a playful “deconstructed roll” offered four pieces of nigiri, two with snow crab lightly marinated in sweet rice vinegar and two with barely smoked salmon topped with crème fraîche and capers. Before finishing with a shrimp tempura and yellowtail roll accented with mango and flying fish roe, two more pristine bites of nigiri—toro, or fatty tuna, and decadent uni, sea urchin—proved to be the ultimate exercise is simplicity and perfection.
The spotlight was on sushi this night, and it could be any other night, too, but Andrea’s offers more, including some colorful new additions to its desserts menu. There’s a tall, whimsical and rich version of Baked Alaska, complete with a Bacardi 151 flambé, as well as deep fried cheesecake spheres and an easy-to-love take on Filipino halo-halo, shaved ice with fruit and condensed milk. Try ‘em all.
Andrea’s Encore, 248-3463. Sunday-Thursday, 6-10:30 p.m.; Friday & Saturday, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.